Lifting safely is a very important skill to master when working with moderate to heavy items on the job. This article is meant to give some advice on how to prevent lifting related injuries. The best way to avoid injury from lifting is to follow all safety instructions, know your limits, read instructions, and ask for help if needed. In this article, we will provide a few more specific tips that we hope may prevent some injuries on the job.
Standing close to the object that requires lifting can make a huge difference. In order to begin lifting safely it is essential to place your feet close to the base of the object. Once your feet are planted securely at the base of the object it is important to make sure you are facing the object squarely. Getting situated and planted is the foundation for a safe lift. This step is one that many people forget, and can be the main cause of injury if forgotten.
Getting a Grip
Sometimes finding a strong grip on a heavy item can be difficult. If possible, tilt the object on it’s side so there are more surfaces that could provide a good grip. Tilting the object also moves it’s weight higher from the ground making the lift easier. Once you have found a good grip make sure you will be able to keep a firm grip on the object throughout the lift. Dropping a heavy item halfway through a lift is the easiest way to get injured. If you find that you are unable to grasp the object effectively it is not a good idea to proceed with the lift. A grip that is weak can cause you to forget about the other steps for lifting safely, your concentration will be attached solely to your struggling grip. This is why finding a solid grip before you lift is vital for preventing injury.
As you begin to lift the item, remember to bend at the knees and squat slightly. This squatting movement allows your legs to take some of the tension away from your back and spine. The leg muscles are very important for lifting safely, but are sometimes not used to their full potential. Bending the knees and engaging the legs allows for a stronger and safer lift.
Once the moderate to heavy object has been successfully lifted, transporting it can be challenging. Remember to take frequent breaks if you believe your grip is weakening or you are loosing balance. Setting the object down and then lifting it again safely once you are ready is a much safer option than carrying it while exhausted.
We hope these tips for safe lifting are helpful, and remember that safety is very important!